Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hush money

The Daily Caller is being sued by the Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, who is in the center of the above photo, flanked by Hillary Clinton and John Podesta, both of whom have benefited financially from Mr. Wyss. Wyss settled for $1.5 million a lawsuit by a Colorado woman named Jacqueline Long, who had agreed not to disclose his sexual abuse of her.

Richard Pollock writes at The Daily Caller,
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s “No Ceilings” women’s empowerment project at the Clinton Foundation accepted a $5 million commitment last December from a Swiss billionaire even as his lawyers were fighting in federal court to hide his darkest secret — a long record of sexually abusing women.
Read more here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

There is only one thing worse than being exploited: not being exploited!

Getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark

Part two of Camille Paglia's Slate interview is up. On insularity of liberal thought:
Now let me give you a recent example of the persisting insularity of liberal thought in the media. When the first secret Planned Parenthood video was released in mid-July, anyone who looks only at liberal media was kept totally in the dark about it, even after the second video was released. But the videos were being run nonstop all over conservative talk shows on radio and television. It was a huge and disturbing story, but there was total silence in the liberal media. That kind of censorship was shockingly unprofessional.

On snarky comedians like David Letterman and Jon Stewart:
I say in the introduction to my last book, "Glittering Images", that "Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination." It exposes a state of perpetual adolescence that has something to do with their parents-- they're still sneering at dad in some way....

I’m speaking here as an atheist. I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system. They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny....

But this sneering thing! I despise snark. Snark is a disease that started with David Letterman and jumped to Jon Stewart and has proliferated since. I think it's horrible for young people! And this kind of snark atheism–let's just invent that term right now–is stupid, and people who act like that are stupid....

I think Stewart’s show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone. I hated the fact that young people were getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark.....

As for his influence, if he helped produce the hackneyed polarization of moral liberals versus evil conservatives, then he’s partly at fault for the political stalemate in the United States....

The resistance of liberals in the media to new ideas was enormous. Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true! Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells. They think that their views are the only rational ones, and everyone else is not only evil but financed by the Koch brothers. It’s so simplistic!
Read more here.

"They may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria.”

So says Stephen Hawking, as he joined with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner on Monday to announce Breakthrough Listen, the new $100 million initiative looking for signs of intelligent life. Alissa Greenberg reports for Time Magazine that Hawking
famously revealed his worry that any aliens advanced enough to contact earth would be “looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they could reach” during a 2010 episode of the miniseries Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking. And he clearly hasn’t changed his mind completely. “If you look at history, contact between humans and less intelligent organisms have often been disastrous from their point of view, and encounters between civilizations with advanced versus primitive technologies have gone badly for the less advanced,” he told reporters at the Breakthrough announcement. “A civilization reading one of our messages could be billions of years ahead of us. If so, they will be vastly more powerful, and may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria.”
Read more here

Another woman murdered by an illegal immigrant, who also shot another woman and attempted to rape a 14-year-old girl

Read more here.

Supressing free speech and covering up

Joe Cunningham reports at Red State that Stem Express, the group which Planned Parenthood has been selling body parts to, has obtained a restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress, which is the group that has been investigating Planned Parenthood. The restraining order prevents them from releasing any more videos for the time being. CMP has a video taken of three Stem Express officials in May.

Cunningham brings us CMP’s statement on the restraining order:

StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a “financial benefit” to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public. They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond. The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.
Read more here.

Brady and Players Association fight on

Fox News reports that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said today,
"I have come to the conclusion that this was never about doing what was fair and just."
Read more here

The New York Times, not heretofore known as being very concerned about emails that get destroyed, writes,
N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell believes Tom Brady had his cellphone destroyed to eliminate evidence of his role in “deflategate.” Brady’s assistant successfully damaged the phone enough to remove the thousands of texts and emails contained within, some of which might have been damaging to Brady’s defense.
The Times then asks its reader(s),
How would you destroy your cellphone in a potentially incriminating situation?
Then the Times lists some of the most creative suggestions from 2,500 readers (it claims).
Read more here.

Are you mentally strong?

Amy Morin writes at Lifehack,
Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves
Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power
They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change
They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.

4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control
They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone
They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past
They don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success

10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure

11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time
They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. (like writing a blog!)

12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results
Read more here.


The Aspinall Foundation has been reintroducing captive gorillas back into the wild over the past 10 years. The gorillas are brought to the foundation’s million acre reserves in West Africa from England’s Howletts Wild Animal Park. There they are set free back into the wild jungles so they have a chance to live their lives as nature intended.

Kwibi, a lowland gorilla, had been brought up at the park by a conservationist named Damian Aspinall. After 5 years in England the gorilla was brought to the West African country of Gabon where he could live the rest of his life in the wild. Since Kwibi’s release five years ago he had only come into contact with several humans, and each time he acted aggressive towards them. With that in mind, Damian set out with his brother, determined to find his old friend.
Read more here.

Don't steal my phone!

Fight the left and make your life better

Daniel Greenfield writes at Sultan Knish about five ways to fight the left and make your life better.

5. Don't Give Money to People Who Hate You
Dump subscriptions to liberal magazines and newspapers.

Get rid of your cable. Cable is a financially shaky proposition. If enough people leave, it falls apart. And even if the only thing you watch is FOX News, under the current system, you're subsidizing a whole bunch of left-wing channels. If you have cable internet, you can access a wider range of programming online than you could on cable. You'll save money and hurt the left.

4. Shop Small Business and Become Independent
Under the current system, major corporations will almost inevitably turn left to align with the authorities and tastemakers. Liberals have become champions of big government. The bigger a company becomes, the more it aligns with the system.

3. Build Likeminded Communities
You don't need to move to X to find a conservative community. You can build one organically by making friends, online and offline, cultivating ties, sharing and helping other people who share your worldview.

2. Have Fun Starting Trouble
A revolution against the left won't be led by the GOP. It won't come out of Washington D.C. But the pushback just might come because a group nobody pays attention to is angry about some issues you've never even heard of.

1. Focus on Your Family
You can have more influence on your kids than you ever can on Facebook or Twitter. If you have them, your biggest job in the world is making sure that you are a bigger influence on them than the latest movie or trending topic.

Be involved in their lives.

If you win there, the left loses big. Its big gamble is generational. If it loses your kids and grandkids, it loses. Period.

And your life will be better for it.
Read more here.

Feeding racial tensions for political purposes eventually risks leading to actual violence.

Daniel Greenfield writes at Sultan Knish,
When Obama condemned Christianity for the Crusades, only a thousand years too late, in attendance was the Foreign Minister of Sudan; a country that practices slavery and genocide. Obama could have taken time out from his rigorous denunciation of the Middle Ages to speak truth to the emissary of a Muslim Brotherhood regime whose leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. But our moral liberals spend too much time romanticizing actual slaver cultures.

It’s a lot easier for Obama to get in his million dollar Cadillac with its 5-inch thick bulletproof windows, a ride Boss Hogg could only envy, and chase down a couple of good ole boys than it is to condemn a culture that committed genocide in our own time, not in 1099, and that keeps slaves today, not in 1815.

Even while the Duke boys were being chased through Georgia, Obama appeared at an Iftar dinner; an event at which Muslims emulate Mohammed, who had more slaves than Robert E. Lee. There are no slaves in Arlington House today, but in the heartlands of Islam, from Saudi mansions to ISIS dungeons, there are still slaves, laboring, beaten, bought, sold, raped and disposed of in Mohammed’s name.

Slavery does not exist under the Confederate flag eagerly being pulled down. It does exist under the black and green flags of Islam rising over mosques in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and America today.

...If we go back far enough in time, most cultures kept slaves. The Romans and Greeks certainly did. That’s why the meaningful standard is not whether a culture ever had slaves, but whether it has slaves today. If we are going to eradicate the symbols of every culture that ever traded in slaves, there will be few cultural symbols that will escape unscathed. But the academics who insist on cultural relativism in 19th century Africa, reject it in 19th century South Carolina thereby revealing their own racism.

...The same racial tensions that led to the murder of two police officers by a #BlackLivesMatter protester in New York City led to the massacre of nine black congregants in a church in Charleston. This surge of violence has its roots in racist activism by Obama and his supporters seeking power and political gain, but feeding racial tensions for political purposes eventually risks leading to actual violence.

The Confederate flag is a matter of history. The racial tensions stirred up by Obama have actually gotten people killed. Slavery is not making a comeback and Robert E. Lee will not come riding into San Francisco any time soon. The Civil War ended long ago. The country would be a better place if modern racists who believe that some lives, whether black or white, matter more than others would stop trying to start one.

Is the GOP field really all that talented?

Daniel Greenfield writes at Sultan Knish,
Conservative punditry is mourning a field in which talented and promising Republican leaders are being ground under. And they have a point, but if those Republicans were really so talented and promising they wouldn't be falling behind to a man whose big talent is brash self-confidence.

Brash self-confidence, an outsized personality, a willingness to take great personal risks are what is absent from the Republican field. And those define Trump's brand. They may be fake, but in an age where the camera defines truth, your messaging is only as good as your acting and your sales skills.

Donald Trump is a great salesman. His Republican rivals aren't. Some are talented lawyers. They understand policy and political tactics. But they couldn't sell a discounted heater to Eskimos.

...Trump has changed the race from a huddle of politicians trying to lock down distinct blocs and lines of appeal in the party, Evangelicals, libertarians, candidates who can appeal to minorities, youth votes, to blatant populism. Trump doesn't appeal to any blocs. He has the FOX News sensibility of shouting the right sorts of things at the right time with a fake working class edge.

In short, he's Bill O'Reilly.

...The Republican field is filled with candidates who offer workshopped solutions. Even the best of them don't quite channel the public outrage, the sense of persecution that so many people feel.

They're sensible, reasonably personable, somewhat articulate, possessed of a measured sense of humor and all those things that Mitt Romney couldn't figure out how to be in front of a camera.

By 2012 standards, they're a vast improvement. By 2016 standards, that may not be enough.

...People need someone to fight for them. They need more from a politician than a great story. They need the feeling that the politician will do everything he can to fight for their way of life.

If they want to win, they are going to have to silence their inner lawyer, shut down some of the skills they learned as politicians, and learn to project what their audience is feeling. A good politician knows what you want to hear. A good salesman knows what you want to feel.

Trump isn't fighting this as a battle of ideas or policies. He's talking about what people feel.
Read more here.

Living up to their Constitution

Daniel Greenfield writes at Sultan Knish,
Last year Iran was selling gasoline for less than 50 cents a gallon. This year a desperate regime hiked prices up to over a dollar. Meanwhile, Iranians pay about a tenth of what Americans do for electricity.

Unlike Japan, Iran does not need nuclear power. It is already sitting on a mountain of gas and oil. For Europe, the nuclear agreement is about ending an unprofitable standoff and doing business with Iran. For Obama, it’s about rewriting history by befriending another enemy of the United States. But for Iran’s Supreme Leader, it’s about pursuing a holy war against the enemies of his flavor of Islam.

The agreement asks us to choose between two possibilities. Either Iran has spent a huge fortune and nearly gone to war to slightly lower its already low electricity rates or it wants a nuclear bomb.

The deal assumes that Iran wants lower electricity rates. Iran’s constitution tells us that it wants Jihad. And unlike Obama, Iran’s leaders can be trusted to live up to their Constitution.
Read more here.


Mark Steyn writes,
President Obama has wrapped up his tour of Africa. It was notable, insofar as that word can be applied to the trip, for his somewhat condescending and neo-colonial lecture to his hosts on the need to ease up on the old homophobia.

Certainly, Africa is not terribly gay-friendly. But nor are other parts of the planet. In his ardent wooing of Iran, for example, he doesn't seem to have been perturbed in the least by his new best friends' executions of homosexuals, anymore than he is by the brutalization of gays elsewhere in the Muslim world. You might deduce in his highly selective criticism a certain cowardice. I'll bet the mullahs do.

...African leaders are likely to prove a tougher sell for Obama than your easily cowed jelly-spined Republican. Most of these chaps seem to take the view that your average G7 head of government is a bit light on his loafers.
Read more here.

Her beauty is on the inside.

Plan to run anti-Google smear campaign

The Motion Picture Association of America has a running feud with Google. Google is trying to get access to emails that show MMPA is trying to harm Google. It has uncovered one email that shows lawyers from the Mississippi Attorney General's office flat out admit that they're expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories:

Media: We want to make sure that the media is at the NAAG meeting. We propose working with MPAA (Vans), Comcast, and NewsCorp (Bill Guidera) to see about working with a PR firm to create an attack on Google (and others who are resisting AG efforts to address online piracy). This PR firm can be funded through a nonprofit dedicated to IP issues. The "live buys" should be available for the media to see, followed by a segment the next day on the Today Show (David green can help with this). After the Today Show segment, you want to have a large investor of Google (George can help us determine that) come forward and say that Google needs to change its behavior/demand reform. Next, you want NewsCorp to develop and place an editorial in the WSJ emphasizing that Google's stock will lose value in the face of a sustained attack by AGs and noting some of the possible causes of action we have developed.

The above was reported by Mike Masnick at Techdirt, and he adds,
This is an out and out case where the MPAA is admitting to a plan whereby it will use mainstream media properties to run bogus and misleading stories to "attack" Google, to further the MPAA's (believed, but misleadingly so) business interests. Is this really how the Today Show and the WSJ pick their editorial topics?
Read more here.

China stocks continue their plunge

Kyoungwha Kim reports at Bloomberg Business that on Monday China had its biggest one day stock crash since 2007.

Monday’s retreat shattered the sense of calm that had fallen over mainland markets last week and raised questions over the viability of government efforts to prop up share prices as the economy slows. China’s industrial profits fell 0.3 percent in June from a year earlier, the statistics bureau reported on Monday. The International Monetary Fund has urged China to eventually unwind its support measures, according to a person familiar with the matter.

“Investors are afraid the Chinese government will withdraw supporting measures from the market,” said Sam Chi Yung, a strategist at Delta Asia Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. “Once those disappear, the market cannot support itself.”

The Shanghai gauge had rebounded 16 percent from its July 8 low through Friday as officials went to extreme lengths to halt a rout that erased $4 trillion from the nation’s equities. Officials allowed more than 1,400 companies to halt trading, banned major shareholders from selling stakes and armed a state-run financing vehicle with more than $480 billion to support the market.
Read more here.

Which stories upset you most?

Miss CJ writes at Chicks on the Right,
The liberal media is probably thanking whatever deity they believe in that a dentist from Minnesota killed a lion in Africa. Now they don't have to ask uncomfortable questions about why the government is funding an organization that makes money off the murder of unborn human babies.

Which stories of the day should we be most upset about: A man killed a lion, A quarterback destroyed his cell phone, Hillary Clinton destroyed thousands of emails, or taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood harvesting baby parts?

Which season are we in?


I'm sure you have seen this somewhere before, but it is so thought-provoking, I am posting here today. Chateau Heartiste writes,
Alexander Tytler had a theory of cyclical democracy, which states:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loss of fiscal responsibility, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith,
From spiritual faith to great courage,
From courage to liberty,
From liberty to abundance,
From abundance to selfishness,
From selfishness to complacency,
From complacency to apathy,
From apathy to dependency,
From dependency back again to bondage.”

Are we in one of those cycles?
Read more here.

Finding some of Lerners' lost emails

Stephen Dinan reports at the Washington Times,
The IRS sent one of its intrusive scrutiny letters to a nonprofit group in order to throw up a smokescreen and prevent the group from complaining to Congress about poor treatment, according to one of Lois G. Lerner’s apparently lost emails, which were recovered by auditors and released by an interest group Tuesday.

Judicial Watch, which sued to force the production of the Lerner emails, said the emails confirm that Ms. Lerner, the central figure in the targeting probe, and her colleagues were aware of the sensitive nature of the cases but appeared to hide details of the massive backlog they were amassing as they held up hundreds of tea party and conservative group applications for nonprofit status.
Read more here.

Do it when it's not expected

Seth Godin writes,
An expected apology rarely makes things better. But an expected apology that never arrives can make things worse.

An expected thank you note rarely satifies. But an expected thank you that never arrives can make things worse.

On the other hand, the unexpected praise or apology, the one that comes out of the blue, can change everything.

It's easier than ever to reach out and speak up. Sad, then, how rarely we do it when it's not expected.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Primitive realities of human life

David Daley interviews Camille Paglia in Salon. He asks,
The banner on the Drudge Report this morning is that Kathleen Willey is starting a site to collect harassment claims against Bill Clinton. New York magazine, meanwhile, has the stories of 35 women who say they were raped or assaulted by Bill Cosby. I wonder if you see a connection between the two stories: Would Bill Clinton’s exploits be viewed more like Cosby’s if he was in the White House now, instead of in the 1990s?

She answers,
Right from the start, when the Bill Cosby scandal surfaced, I knew it was not going to bode well for Hillary’s campaign, because young women today have a much lower threshold for tolerance of these matters. The horrible truth is that the feminist establishment in the U.S., led by Gloria Steinem, did in fact apply a double standard to Bill Clinton’s behavior because he was a Democrat. The Democratic president and administration supported abortion rights, and therefore it didn’t matter what his personal behavior was.

But we’re living in a different time right now, and young women have absolutely no memory of Bill Clinton. It’s like ancient history for them; there’s no reservoir of accumulated good will. And the actual facts of the matter are that Bill Clinton was a serial abuser of working-class women–he had exploited that power differential even in Arkansas. And then in the case of Monica Lewinsky–I mean, the failure on the part of Gloria Steinem and company to protect her was an absolute disgrace in feminist history! What bigger power differential could there be than between the president of the United States and this poor innocent girl? Not only an intern but clearly a girl who had a kind of pleading, open look to her–somebody who was looking for a father figure.

Bill Clinton used her. Hillary was away or inattentive, and he used Monica in the White House–and in the suite of the Oval Office, of all places.

...Hillary has a lot to answer for, because she took an antagonistic and demeaning position toward her husband’s accusers. So it’s hard for me to understand how the generation of Lena Dunham would or could tolerate the actual facts of Hillary’s history.

...These two people, Clinton and Cosby, are emotionally infantile–they’re engaged in a war with female power. It has something to do with their early sense of being smothered by female power–and this pathetic, abusive and criminal behavior is the result of their sense of inadequacy.

...Cosby was involved in a symbiotic, push-pull thing with his wife, where he went out and did these awful things to assert his own independence. But for that, he required the women to be inert. He needed them to be dead! Cosby is actually a necrophiliac – a style that was popular in the late Victorian period in the nineteenth-century.

...But it’s necrophilia – this fear and envy of a woman’s power.

...Men and women never had that much to do with each other over history! There was the world of men and the world of women. Now we’re working side-by-side in offices at the same job. Women want to leave at the end of the day and have a happy marriage at home, but then they put all this pressure on men because they expect them to be exactly like their female friends. If they feel restlessness or misery or malaise, they automatically blame it on men. Men are not doing enough; men aren’t sharing enough. But it’s not the fault of men that we have this crazy and rather neurotic system where women are now functioning like men in the workplace, with all its material rewards. A huge problem here is that in America, we have identified ourselves totally with our work lives. In most parts of southern Europe, on the other hand, work is secondary to your real life. It’s often said that Americans live to work, as opposed to working to live.

...When I burst on the scene in the early 1990s, one of the things that made me notorious was my attack on the date-rape rhetoric of the time. The date-rape issue had been heavily publicized since the late 1980s: there were date-rape victims on the cover of People and being treated like heroines on CNN’s Larry King Show. So my statements on the topic, such as my 1991 op-ed in New York Newsday, caused a firestorm. I wasn’t automatically kowtowing to the standard rhetoric that men are at fault for everything and women are utterly blameless. I said that my 1960s generation of women had won the right to sexual freedom–but with rights came personal responsibility. People went crazy! There was this absurd polarization where men were portrayed as demons and women as frail, innocent virgins. It was so Victorian!

...I called my feminism “Amazon feminism” or “street-smart feminism,” where you remain vigilant, learn how to defend yourself, and take responsibility for the choices you make. If something bad happens, you learn from it. You become stronger and move on. But hauling a mattress around on campus? Columbia, one of the great Ivy League schools with a tremendous history of scholarship, utterly disgraced itself in how it handled that case. It enabled this protracted masochistic exercise where a young woman trapped herself in her own bad memories and publicly labeled herself as a victim, which will now be her identity forever. This isn’t feminism–which should empower women, not cripple them.

...It’s yet more evidence of the current absence of psychology. To go around exhibiting and foregrounding your wounds is a classic neurotic symptom. But people are so lacking now in basic Freudian consciousness–because Freud got thrown out of mainstream feminism by Kate Millett and Gloria Steinem and company. So no one sees the pathology in all this. And for Columbia to permit this girl to carry her mattress onstage and disrupt the commencement ceremony was absolutely ludicrous. It demonstrates the total degradation of once eminent and admirable educational institutions to caretaking nursery schools.

...Now we have people emerging with Ivy League degrees who have no idea how little they know about history or literature. Their minds are shockingly untrained. They’ve been treated as fragile emotional beings throughout their schooling. The situation is worsening year by year, as teachers have to watch what they say and give trigger warnings, because God forbid that American students should have to confront the brutal realities of human life.

Meanwhile, while all of this nursery-school enabling is going on, we have the entire world veering towards ISIS–with barbaric decapitations and gay guys being thrown off roofs and stoned to death. All the harsh realities of human history are erupting, and this young generation is going to be utterly unprepared to deal with it. The nation is eventually going to be endangered by the inability of several generations of young people to make political decisions about a real world that they do not understand. The primitive realities of human life are exploding out there!
Read more here.

No one to blame but themselves

Scott Greer writes at Daily Caller,
...To call Republican leaders useless would imply that they are, in fact, doing nothing on behalf of their core constituency. It’s worse than that. Republican leaders seem to doing their most to fight against their own base.

And it’s not like powerful GOP figures don’t publicly air their contempt for the people who keep them in office. John McCain called all the people who showed up to hear Donald Trump speak in Arizona “crazies” — even though those same people narrowly saved him from an electoral upset in 2010 after the senator acted like a border warrior in the primary race.

It’s not much of a surprise, then, that rank-and-file Republican lawmakers now have a historically-low favorability rating among voters in their own party.

Anyone wondering why Donald Trump keeps surging in polls in spite of all the establishment hand-wringing can stop wondering.

Congressional Republican leaders have no one to blame but themselves for the unhappiness of conservative voters. What’s the point in voting Republican if the party is going to do nothing it promised when it attains power?
Read more here.

Is hypocrisy the issue?

Lone wolves, white liberals, and Donald Trump

Roger L. Simon writes at PJ Media about lone wolf Islamic terrorists, white liberals, and Donald Trump:
...“Lone wolves,” like “Islamophobia” before it, is a bogus term of distraction, designed to take focus off the reality that a solid percentage of the billion plus Islamic world is at war with the West, seeking to take it over, militarily and/or ideologically. These may be solitary individuals (or often not, as in Boston and Garland) but they are all acting from the same playbook — the Koran and Hadith. They are simply soldiers in a massive global army. They all know their instructions, which are in front of their eyes and couldn’t be simpler.

Attempts are being made to find an excuse — anything but Islam. According to CNN, Abdulazeez’s Jordanian relatives are claiming the young man was “depressed.” So is almost everybody I know at one time or another … and guess what? Not a single one of them is a terrorist. Perhaps Obama should declare a War on Depression and give out free Prozac in the mosques along with condoms. That should do it.

Meanwhile, I’m sure some exist, but I have yet to meet a single middle or upper class white liberal or progressive who has actually read the Koran or Hadith. At most they answer, “Well, sure… back in school,” in which case you know they’re lying. Or they’ll launch into a disquisition on how it doesn’t really matter because all religions are equal, noting that there’s “bad stuff” in the Bible. Somewhere north of ninety percent of these folks do not know that the Koran, unlike the Bible, is considered by Muslims the verbatim dictation of Allah to Mohammed (therefore undebatable) or how the inevitable contradictions that stem from this are rectified through abrogation. And they have even less idea what this abrogation adds up to, how it has ratified the ideology of the murderous modern jihad movement from the Muslim Brotherhood on into ISIS. They don’t want to know. They also don’t want to know that Muslim immigration is exploding and overwhelming the FBI. This is highly disruptive information to them and wouldn’t play well at the next PTA diversity meeting.

But speaking of disruptions, in the midst of all this, Donald Trump is now leading the Republican presidential polls because many feel he is speaking the truth — and he is in most instances. One instance in which he didn’t, however, occurred this weekend when he mocked John McCain’s military record. (“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”) Whatever you think of McCain’s politics (and there’s plenty negative), the man — as Rick Perry and Senator Tom Cotton (one of the true heroes of this country right now for leading the way against the Iran deal) noted on Meet the Press — did spend five and a half years in North Vietnamese prisons, being beaten and tortured, bones broken, bayoneted in the stomach, sleeping in his own feces, etc. etc. At that time The Donald was at Wharton, avoiding the draft multiple times, revving up his real estate business and chasing nookie, one would assume.

Most importantly, as an admiral’s son, McCain was offered early repatriation by the North Vietnamese and refused, choosing to stay with the other POWs and be tortured and beaten continually to the proverbial inch of his life. (He attempted suicide at one point.) According to Wikipedia, which appears to be well-sourced on this matter, McCain spent nearly five of his five and a half years in prison because he refused this privileged repatriation. I don’t know a single other contemporary figure who can say the same. Do you?

So goodbye, Donald, it’s been fun. You did a good job bringing up immigration, Mexico and sanctuary cities, but you’d be a lousy commander-in-chief of the United States military. And if there’s anything clear right now, that is by far the most important qualification we should be looking for in our next president. In fact, you could almost say it’s the only one. Earlier, I have written, referencing The Godfather, more than ever “we need a wartime consigliere.” I’m doubtful about my opinions about many things, but not about that.
Read more here.


Here is the full text of today's resolution by Congressman Mark Meadows to declare the office of the speaker of the House "vacant."

Whereas the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the
114th Congress has endeavored to consolidate power and
centralize decision-making, bypassing the majority of the
435 Members of Congress and the people they represent;

Whereas the Speaker has, through inaction, caused the power
of Congress to atrophy, thereby making Congress subser-
vient to the Executive and Judicial branches, diminishing
the voice of the American People;

Whereas the Speaker uses the power of the office to punish
Members who vote according to their conscience instead
of the will of the Speaker;

Whereas the Speaker has intentionally provided for voice
votes on consequential and controversial legislation to be
taken without notice and with few Members present;

Whereas the Speaker uses the legislative calendar to create
crises for the American People, in order to compel Mem-
bers to vote for legislation;

Whereas the Speaker does not comply with the spirit of the
rules of the House of Representatives, which provide that
Members shall have three days to review legislation be-
fore voting;

Whereas the Speaker continues to direct the Rules Com-
mittee to limit meaningful amendments, to limit debate
on the House floor, and to subvert a straightforward leg-
islative process; and

Whereas the House of Representatives, to function effectively
in the service of all citizens of this country, requires the
service of a Speaker who will endeavor to follow an or-
derly and inclusive process without imposing his or her
will upon any Member thereof:

Now, therefore, be it
That the office of Speaker of the House of
Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.

A resolution declaring the office of speaker of the House "vacant"

Elise Viebeck writes in the Washington Post about Congressman Mark Meadows' resolution to declare the office of the speaker of the House “vacant.”
In a blistering resolution, Meadows slammed Boehner for causing the “power of Congress to atrophy” and using his office to “punish members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker.” The measure was referred to the Rules Committee, aides said.

Meadows’s claims reflect a longstanding critique of Boehner’s leadership among House conservatives.

...The resolution filed Tuesday afternoon contained eight complaints against Boehner. Meadows argued that the speaker seeks to “consolidate power and centralize decision-making,” manipulates the House’s calendar to “create crises for the American people, in order to compel members to vote for legislation,” and limits debate and amendments on the floor.
Read more here.

Reporters talk to Congressman Meadows about his resolution to strip John Boehner of his Speakership

Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina today offered a resolution to strip John Boehner of his Speakership.
“It’s really more about trying to have a conversation about making this place work, where everybody’s voice matters, where it’s not a punitive culture,” said Meadows, who has felt the repercussions of bucking leadership.

In filing his motion in a non-privileged form — meaning it did not require immediate consideration, or consideration at all — Meadows said he wanted to see if just raising the issue of dissatisfaction with Boehner might prompt some changes at the top. He said he hoped for a “family discussion,” borrowing Boehner’s favorite euphemism for ugly intraparty fights.

But when he was asked if a lack of results on that front could culminate in Meadows bringing the motion up again, this time as privileged, Meadows was clear.

“Correct,” he said.

Republicans speculated Tuesday night that Meadows knew he didn’t have the votes at this point to remove Boehner and deliberately filed the motion as a non-privileged measure in order to let the prospect of a leadership change — however far-fetched — simmer over the monthlong August recess.

“It comes down to one thing,” Meadows said. “And that is, the voice of the American people needs to be heard.”
Read more of a post by By Emma Dumain and Matt Fuller at Roll

National Review writers not impressed with Trump

National Review's stable of writers do not seem to be impressed by candidate Donald Trump. The latest to skewer Trump is Kevin Williamson, who writes a piece here entitled Fifteen Elephants and a Clown

The third video of Planned Parenthood harvesting baby parts released today

Called into the principal's office

Darren Samuelson writes at Politico about how Obama and his staff "took unusual steps to "cultivate" Daily Show comic Jon Stewart.
Jon Stewart slipped unnoticed into the White House in the midst of the October 2011 budget fight, summoned to an Oval Office coffee with President Barack Obama that he jokingly told his escort felt like being called into the principal’s office.

In February 2014, Obama again requested Stewart make the trip from Manhattan to the White House, this time for a mid-morning visit hours before the president would go before television cameras to warn Russia that “there will be costs” if it made any further military intervention in Ukraine.
Read more here.

Feeling connected?

Dr. Kim Kimberling writes at A Holy Experience today about communication in marriage.
If you’ve had any exposure whatsoever to marriage resources, you know what experts say is essential over and over again: communication.

Of the couples I see in counseling, the ones who really communicate well and set aside time to do so seem to consistently also have good marriages.

But in all this hype about communication, here’s what is often missed:

Communication does not simply mean the talking kind. It means connection in a special way.

Most couples communicate pretty well before marriage. I have seen surveys that usually put that number at around three hours a day.

On the other hand there are surveys that say those same couples a few years into marriage will spend an average of five minutes a day communicating.

What happens?

The reasons may vary from couple to couple, but the bottom line is that we quit making it a priority. We lose sight of God’s design.

How connected are you today with your spouse?

Are you more connected than ever, or are you becoming strangers? Think about a typical day and the things that you do. How do you spend your time? How much time do you set aside to connect with your spouse?

I can sit in the same room or on the same couch with Nancy and not be connected. Just being in each other’s presence does not connect us.

Sure, it helps. The opportunity is there, but to connect, someone has to initiate.

That initiation may be a conversation, or it could be a hug or a kiss.

Connection happens when one initiates and the other one responds.

Someone told me years ago that the first five minutes a couple is together in the evening sets the tone for the night.

God designed us for relationships — a relationship with Him and a relationship with others.

When we connect in marriage with our spouse, we are fulfilling God’s design for our lives; and it makes a difference.

Tell each other when you feel the most connected.

Share how connected you feel in your marriage today.

Is this where you want to be? If it is, great. Keep on doing what you are doing.

If not, what will you do today to connect?
Read more here.

Enjoy the status quo, or make art?

Seth Godin writes today about making art.
What is your art?

I define art as having nothing at all to do with painting.

Art is a human act, a generous contribution, something that might not work, and it is intended to change the recipient for the better, often causing a connection to happen.

Five elements that are difficult to find and worth seeking out. Human, generous, risky, change and connection.

You can be perfect or you can make art.

You can keep track of what you get in return, or you can make art.

You can enjoy the status quo, or you can make art.

The most difficult part might be in choosing whether you want to make art at all, and committing to what it requires of you.

Monday, July 27, 2015

EMP is no science fiction

Bill Straub reports at PJ Media,
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director R. James Woolsey warned lawmakers that natural and manmade electromagnetic pulses present an “existential threat to the American people” and accused congressional and White House officials of ignoring a potential catastrophe.

Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, Woolsey, who served two years under President Bill Clinton, warned that EMP is “a clear and present danger and that something must be done to protect the electric grid and other life sustaining critical infrastructures — immediately.”

But Woolsey noted that official Washington is ignoring the looming threat despite a report issued by a blue-ribbon congressional commission in 2004 that offered what he termed cost-effective solutions.

Experts maintain an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) resulting from a high-altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon high above the jet stream — perhaps by a rogue state — or a geomagnetic “super storm” caused by the sun, could conceivably lead to an electrical blackout lasting months or even years. A 2008 report by the congressional Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse found that up to nine out of 10 Americans could die from a long-term blackout as a result of starvation and societal collapse.

Reportedly, according to the Wall Street Journal, a study by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission warned that a terrorist attack that destroys just nine key transformer substations could cause a nationwide blackout lasting 18 months.

...Woolsey told Johnson – the lone lawmaker sitting through the hearing for the first hour and a half – that EMP “is not science fiction.”

“One prominent myth is that a sophisticated, high-yield, thermonuclear weapon is needed to make a nuclear EMP attack,” Woolsey said. “In fact, the Congressional EMP Commission found that virtually any nuclear weapon — even a primitive, low-yield atomic bomb such as terrorists might build — would suffice. The U.S. electric grid and other civilian critical infrastructures — for example, communications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water — have never been hardened to survive EMP.”

...The Congressional EMP Commission recommended a plan to protect the national electric grid from nuclear EMP attack that would also mitigate all lesser threats — including natural EMP, RFWs, cyber bugs and hacking, physical sabotage and severe weather — for about $2 billion. About $10-20 billion would protect all the critical infrastructures from nuclear EMP attack and other threats.

“Unfortunately, none of these plans has been implemented,” Woolsey said. “The U.S. electric grid and other civilian critical infrastructures remain utterly vulnerable to EMP because of lobbying by the electric power industry and their North American Electric Reliability Corporation has, so far, thwarted every bill by the U.S. Congress to protect the grid from EMP.
Read more here.


Victor Davis Hanson writes at PJ Media,
Trump’s crass bombast is enjoyed by the fed-up crowd as the proper antidote to the even greater bombast of the Left, who created Trump’s latest manifestations.

The conservative base is tired of illegal immigration. Their furor peaked with the horrific killing of Kate Steinle by a seven-time convicted felon and five-time deported illegal alien. They are baffled that one apparently exempt and privileged ethnic group can arbitrarily decide to ignore federal law. They are irate that they are lectured about their supposed racism from an open-borders movement predicated on La Raza-like ethnic chauvinism. They do not want to hear about nativism from a lobby that so often at rallies waves the flag of the country that none of the protestors seems to wish to return to, a country whose authoritarianism is romanticized as much as their host country is faulted for its magnanimity. Call this what you will, but emotion over neglecting federal law is much less worrisome than cool calculation over violating it.

The horrific — but likely preventable — death of Kate Steinle at the hands of five-time deported illegal alien and seven-time released felon Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez should remind us all of the dangerous wages of ignoring the law.

In the upcoming months, the trial of her killer (on parole from Texas authorities and a user of aliases) may well prove a circus of sorts. We will likely hear all sorts of contextualization to explain why either Lopez-Sanchez was not culpable for the shooting, or hardly can be seen as the inevitable result of a quite unhinged policy. Or we will hear that he was just aiming at sea lions and simply missed with one of his three shots. Indeed, already the ubiquitous and often shameless Rep. Gutierrez has scoffed (on Telemundo no less) that the death of Kate Steinle was “a little thing” (una cosa pequeña).

San Francisco, as is true daily in other sanctuary cities, rolled the dice with someone else’s safety, and, in this case, a life was lost.

In a larger sense, we are asked to believe that breaking federal law is a one-time phenomenon for the illegal alien, not often the beginning of habitual legal noncompliance that quickly snowballs into a labyrinth of illegality — all predicated on the crime of entering the U.S. unlawfully. Suggesting that cities with large populations of illegal aliens witness no greater per capita crime rates (and do we know accurately the number of illegal aliens who reside in these supposedly safer cities?) than others is to ignore everyday things like creating false identities, filing fraudulent Social Security numbers, and driving without licenses, insurance and registration. Or are these written off as mere infractions rather than crimes?

By needs, the world of millions of illegal aliens is not one where one reports or counts all criminal activity, or considers reportable the sort of crimes that citizens would pay dearly for (try getting caught with a fake ID, or filing a Social Security number). But if the host country did not have a problem with millions entering it illegally, it certainly has even less than a problem with what follows.

I had the Orwellian experience of driving to the DMV not long ago while listening to a talking head on the car radio sermonize on the less-than-average criminal incidents among illegal aliens. Ten minutes later I queued up in a serpentine line with over a hundred habitual drivers who, as illegal aliens, were there for their first driver’s licenses. In the past, had they broken no law? Was it really a crime yesterday morning when two non-English speakers turned up on my front lawn, in trespass, sitting down waiting “for someone,” while exchanging wads of cash — just hours after my pickup was reported stolen with its registration (address) and the gate and garage clickers? Do such “infractions” happen much to Gov. Brown or Sen. Feinstein?

...If 19th-century South Carolina could unilaterally declare that U.S. law did not apply within its environs, why then not 21st century San Francisco as well? (Apparently San Francisco thinks South Carolina was on the winning side of the Civil War.)

...Did Ms. Steinle rate any editorialization from the president or his administration in the manner of Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown? In all these cases, the allegation is that the state was culpable for the death of an innocent. But Ms. Steinle had no prior criminal record or brushes with the law, and was walking and not in a fight or in the process of being arrested, so therefore her death did not rise to the level of a Ferguson or Baltimore “teachable moment.”

Sanctuary cities are secessionist, and predicated on cowardice — and the odds. The elites that draft such laws assume, occasionally erroneously, that they and their own are probably immune from the consequences of their own ideology, given that their schools, their neighborhoods, and their transportation are more likely to be shielded from those who arrive illegally and without any federal audit of their backgrounds. They assume that the law can become negotiable because a rising ethnic political force, frozen in amber, will always supposedly vote along perceived ethnic lines and might reward them for their past nullification, an assumption that, if true for the present, is by no means assured for the future. The cost — legal, criminal, social — of illegal aliens so often falls inordinately upon the middle class Latino community, which is already beginning to resent open borders.
Read more here.

A first for the Golf Channel

Boehner cries...again.

Thanks to Bridget Johnson at PJ Media

Paying the Iranians to kill us

Michael Ledeen writes at PJ Media,
I think most of those trying to stop the approval of the Iran Deal are going about it wrong. I don’t believe you can stop this thing by going through the text and pointing out its myriad flaws, nor do I think it’s good enough to expose the many lies Obama, Kerry, Rhodes et. al. told us along the way, nor even to uncover secret deals.

Obama understands how to do it: reduce the issue to a simple choice. He does that when he says that Congress must either approve the Grand Bargain or plunge the Middle East–or is it the world?–into war.

We should answer it: Iran has been at war with us for 36 years, and this deal–the latest of its kind–gives Iran lots of money to kill even more Americans. Indeed, we’ve been doing it for quite a while.

In a single phrase: the war is already ON, and we’re paying the Iranians to kill us. You want to pay them even more? Apparently that’s what Obama wants.

Remember when comrade Lenin remarked that the capitalists would eventually buy the rope and supply it to their hangman? Well here we are.
Read more here.

The logic of fascism

Andrew Klavan at PJ Media helps us identify fascist behavior.
The logic of fascism is this: “Your X constitute[s] an act of violence, so I’m justified in using violence against you.” For X, you can fill in just about anything except actual violence. Some of the more popular choices are: “Words; Opinions; Positions; Race; Presence; Borders; Jewishness.” Once you equate any of these things — anything — with violence, once you feel justified in committing violence in response, your actual positions no longer matter. You’re a thug. You’re a fascist. You’re a tyrant, petty or otherwise. You no longer have a place at the discussion table.

Violence is not in the same category as any other human interchange. Our right to life and safety is our first right and the one on which all others depend. Free speech, religious freedom, freedom of the press — none of these means anything if people are allowed to hurt or kill you for them. That’s why every civilized system of law recognizes: Violence is justified only as a response to actual or threatened violence. You can say the most awful things to me, but if I can’t show that real physical violence was a reasonable threat, I can’t legally respond with force.

Even the logic of fascism understands this — and seeks to disguise it by labeling as violence what is not violence at all: your words, your opinions, your race, the fact that you’re a Jew.

On a recent episode of Headline News’s Dr. Drew on Call, transexual Inside Edition reporter Zoey Tur put his hand on commentator Ben Shapiro’s neck and threatened to send Ben home in an ambulance. This was in response to the fact that Ben called Tur “sir,” and thus refused to accept him as a woman. Rather than make his case in response, Tur bought into the logic of fascism. After that, as far as I’m concerned, his opinion doesn’t matter. His gender doesn’t matter. His feelings don’t matter. When you go to violence in response to words, by my lights, you become a fascist; you become a thug. Your moral legitimacy is gone, baby, gone.

What Tur did bothers me and I think he should be charged with assault and battery (the touch makes it both). It hardly needs saying that if the positions had been reversed, Ben would have been arrested. The media would have demanded it, and they’d have been right. But what bothers me much more than Tur are the apparently sane and civilized people who swallowed the fascist pill right with him. Dr. Drew Pinsky, who did nothing to stop the incident and hasn’t condemned it. Panelist Segun Oduolowu who, speaking like a true fascist, said, “What [Shapiro] did was deliberately disrespectful. You call a transgender woman sir on national television you know what you are doing.” Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times, who mischaracterized the incident in an article and then called Ben the bully. Scott Eric Kaufman, who tried to make Tur’s violence seem heroic at Salon. Because, you know, words are like violence so…

Congratulations, gang. You bought in. Whether your political positions are right or wrong, you’re now fully in the wrong. Come up on stage and pick up your swastika.

And to all those on Twitter and the like who call Ben “whiny” or a coward because he openly protests against being manhandled and threatened, let me explain something to you just so you know: You’re moral idiots. When, like Ben, you’ve looked a thug in the face and held to your position despite his threats, then come to me and explain what courage is. Because then maybe you’ll know.

For crying out loud, has the left really forgotten this? This is so basic. Yell at each other. Call each other names. Say whatever you want. But try to act like grown men and women — like free men and women. Try to act like Americans. Keep your damned hands to yourself.
read more here.

Time for Boehner and McConnell to resign

Mark Levin calls for the resignation of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell:
It is time for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to resign for the good of the nation and the Republican Party. The nation and GOP are both suffering as a result of the unwillingness or inability of McConnell and Boehner to effectively defend either. Instead, these politicians are consumed with consolidating their own power on Capitol Hill and silencing opponents who dare to challenge their ironfisted rule. Sadly, they rarely act in the best interests of America's future. Indeed, time and again they have delivered victory after victory for Obama and his radical agenda -- from spending, borrowing, and Obamacare to illegal immigration, Iran and "trade" power. Never before has a Congress controlled by one party been so thoroughly impotent. This is due to the disastrous leadership of McConnell and Boehner. It is time for younger, wiser, and more courageous Republican leaders -- constitutional conservatives who understand the role of a statesman in perilous times -- who are willing to truly lead the nation and the Republican Party based on America's enlightened principles, advance the cause of liberty and republican government, and make the case everyday to the American people.

"No American is ever going to get to see those."

Mark Thiesen writes in the Washington Post,
President Obama promised that his nuclear deal with Iran would not be “based on trust” but rather “unprecedented verification.” Now it turns out Obama’s verification regime is based on trust after all — trust in two secret side agreements negotiated exclusively between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that apparently no one (including the Obama administration) has seen.

Worse, Obama didn’t even reveal the existence of these secret side deals to Congress when he transmitted the nuclear accord to Capitol Hill. The agreements were uncovered, completely by chance, by two members of Congress — Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) — who were in Vienna meeting with the U.N.-releated agency.

In an interview, Pompeo told me that he and Cotton were meeting with the deputy director of the IAEA and the agency’s two top Iran negotiators just days after the nuclear accord was announced, when they asked how the agency will carry out verification at the Iranian military complex at Parchin. IAEA officials told them, quite casually, that the details were all covered in agreements negotiated between the IAEA and the Iranian government. It was the first they had heard of the side deals.

Pompeo says they asked whether they could see those agreements. He says IAEA officials replied, “ ‘Oh no, of course not, no, you’re not going to get to see those.’ And so everybody on our side of the table asked, ‘Has Secretary Kerry seen these?’ ‘No, Secretary Kerry hasn’t seen them. No American is ever going to get to see them.’ ”

...In other words, Obama is gambling our national security and handing over $150 billion in sanctions relief to Iran, based on secret agreements negotiated between the IAEA and Iran that no U.S. official has seen.

In fact, the Obama administration’s failure to transmit these side deals to Congress is a violation of the law. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which Obama signed into law, explicitly states that the president must transmit the nuclear agreement along with “all related materials and annexes.” That clearly covers any side agreements covering the verification of Iran’s compliance.

Congress should insist on seeing the side deals before it votes on the Iran accord. The only way to stop the agreement is for Congress to override the president’s veto through a resolution of disapproval with a two-thirds vote in both houses. That would require 13 Senate Democrats and 45 House Democrats to vote no — which would have been highly unlikely until the revelation of these secret deals.
Read more here.

Update: Elizabeth Price Foley writes at Instapundit,
Cutting a nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, without either realizing or revealing that there are “side deals” with the IAEA is treasonous. Members of Congress who now vote to support it without knowing the full terms of these side deals are likewise traitors.

How the media coordinates the narrative

Keoni Galt at Hawaiian Libertarian posts this image of the big six who control our media:

There IS such a thing, at this date of the world's history, as an independent press. Thanks to teh distributed network capabilities of teh Interwebz, the truth can actually be found...but it is almost more difficult now to find it than when we only had a few channels of media to consume. Now we have more channels than can be possibly counted, so that the truth can be plainly stated and most will never believe it, as we are bewildered and numbed to the overwhelming overload if mis- and dis- information of our BigSix controlled mass media.

You know it and I know it.

There are a few of you who dare to write your honest opinions without the cloak of anonymity on blogs, forums and social media accounts, but most people devoted to exposing the truth under the real world identities are either doxxed, censored, threatened, stripped of their livelihoods, or ridiculed into obscurity.

...We are the expendable human resources and mindless consumers of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks; they pull the string and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of the managers of our sheeple farm who use the BigSix multi-media organs to tell us all what and how to think.

But just 'cause they're saying it, doesn't mean we have to listen.
Read more here.

Will the US defend Iran against Israel?

Roger L. Simon writes at PJ Media about the Iran deal:
The Iranians made no concessions, only our side did, and we (especially the State Department) have lied continually to the American people about the extent of our concessions, most of which are hidden from view in side letters. But even if that weren’t so — and it is — the basics are clear. We have given Iran a pathway to a plutonium bomb while entirely gutting any possible inspections regime. We did this by abandoning the promised anytime/anywhere inspections for some bureaucratic mishmash that will take anywhere from 24 days to a year (depending on whom you ask) and by collapsing on the so-called PMDs (possible military dimensions) of Iran’s previous nuclear program, so there is no way to prove what is new and what is not in the first place. And to top it off, we have given the Iranians a signing bonus of 150 billion that, no doubt, will be used to finance either the Tehran branch of the Little Sisters of the Poor or another skillion mid-range missiles for Hezbollah. You decide.

Oh, and by the way, if we or someone else suspects the Iranians of cheating, the deal decrees that it is only the Iranians themselves who send us the putative evidence of their misdeeds. We don’t get to go there personally.

...But it gets worse. And excuse me for going off into the fever swamps of potential paranoia here, but what follows is the reason I wrote this article. I buried my lede deliberately because I have no evidence for it and because it’s so stupefyingly horrific that I can’t believe it, don’t want to believe it — and yet it rings true. I received email from a blogger I respect with information he received that alleges one of the secret letters is far more disturbing than anything disclosed so far. This document pledges to Iran that should Israel attack her nuclear facilities, the UN and the U.S. will defend Iran against Israel.

Do I believe this? All I can say is I wish I didn’t. If it’s true, my world will have changed yet again. Given everything that has happened, the way this deal has been set, it’s hard to disbelieve it.

How well is America doing?

It's time again for some charts and graphs. Elle's Economy gives us three important ones, with explanations for each.
The most basic metric for how well the country is doing is median household income – are families making more today than in years past? Errrr, not so fast there Mr. President. As the chart below shows (the red line) we are still well below we were when you took office… and that is despite the massive amount of government spending and monetary policy stimulus! Or perhaps, this is in fact because of all that insanity? In fact, median household income, after taking inflation into account, is where it was back in 1989, twenty-six years ago!

One of the reason household income is so low is that despite the often touted “unemployment rate” the more important number, the percentage of people in the country actually working is down to levels not seen since the early 80s and well below the ratio during George W Bush’s Presidency.

On top of that, 2.2 million Americans are in part-time jobs who want to work full time, still far above the level at the start of the recession and during George W’s entire Presidency.

2015-07 Part-time for economic reasons

So people are making less and fewer people are working… what about the debt burden on those who do have jobs? When Obama took office, the total Federal Debt was 10.7 trillion. Today it is over 18 trillion and expected to be well over 19 trillion by the time he leaves office. That’s more than an 80% increase in the debt burden shouldered by the American people in just 8 years, nearly doubling!
Read more here.

Will this be the lie that brings down Hillary?

Dick Morris explains the absurdity of Hillary's claims that she wanted her emails to be made public. The Morris video also explains why she may not be able to avoid prosecution. Watch the video here.

Politicians accumulating money, power, and prestige

Glenn Reynolds writes in USA Today,
politicians don’t care, except to the extent that we make them care. Whatever they say when they’re running for office, their top priority once elected is to build a coalition that will keep them in power, and accumulating money and influence, regardless of whether the interests of that coalition coincide with the public’s.

One of the reasons that America enjoyed such tremendous growth over the past century was that technology outran regulators’ ability to keep up. Will that remain true over the coming decades? Let’s hope so. We can’t make it in the 21st century with a 1950s economic model, however appealing that approach might be to politicians.
Read more here.

Children walking to school unsupervised

When you were a child, did you walk to school? I did, from kindergarten through 9th grade. How about now? Are you letting your child walk to school? Are you afraid someone will report you to Child Protective Services? Or, are you a helicopter parent, hovering over your child?

Elizabeth Price Foley writes at Instapundit,
In a zeal to “protect” the children, some adults are becoming super-nannies, swooping down to call protective services anytime they spy your child alone in a playground, saying the wrong words, with dirty clothes, living without modern amenities, or getting the “wrong” medical care. They think they know how to raise your kids better than you, so your children become “the State’s children” until you can wrestle them back. We are punishing parents, too often, for being poor or bucking cultural norms rather than being physically or emotionally abusive. The constitutional “right” to raise our children is being eroded–a goal political leftists have long sought.
Read more here.

Take that!

Have you been to a bus station lately? Anything can happen there. For example, there is this guy who became angry at having to pay an additional 2 dollars, and decided to head butt the bus door.

Read about it here.

The system isn't working

Ray Henry, Jay Reeves, and Rebecca Santana write for AP about the recent movie theater shooter in Louisiana. In his case, as in the case of James Homes in Aurora, Colorado, and Dylan Storm Roof in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the nation's gun sale monitoring system does not appear to be working any better than any other bureaucratic system.

Money-grubbing Planned Parenthood baby-parts harvesters, versus life saving angels

In this piece, Michelle Malkin compares the Planned Parenthood "doctors" with those who work every day to save babies' lives.

This Sept. 11, 2009 photo provided by Tundi and Nate Brady shows their 3-day-old son, Dexter, who was born about 16 weeks early, attached to a ventilator and feeding tubes under warming lights in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

The pretend objective media

Leon Wolf writes at Red State,
People say the press is mostly liberal. That’s by and large true, but it misses quite a lot of nuance in terms of where the press comes down on certain issues. There are people peppered throughout the national press corps with conservative or at least libertarian leanings on a whole host of issues. However, one issue on which the national press – even the ostensibly conservative members – is almost totally monolithic is life issues. Even Charles Krauthammer, while opposed to Roe v. Wade, supports legalized abortion. Ditto John Stossel, and virtually every other prominent token conservative/liberal member of the legacy media.

As a consequence, there is no issue with respect to which the media is more out of step with the American public, which is more or less split down the middle on the issue of abortion generally – and which has been watching with horror (when the media deigns to show them) these videos of doctors discussing the sale of babies’ livers with all the nonchalance of Tony Soprano discussing the price of hookers in New Jersey.
Read more here.

The communicator

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, husband of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, has a new job. Weiner, also known as Carlos Danger, the man who sends women pictures of his penis on the internet, has been hired by a Hillary Clinton donor to fix public relations messes. Seriously!

Carl Campanile writes at the New York Post,
The man who destroyed his own promising political career by botching a 2011 sext-message imbroglio with bald-faced lies — and who then ruined his comeback by running one of the most disastrous mayoral campaigns of all time — will now get paid to dispense advice to high-paying clients of the MWW p.r. firm, sources told The Post.

MWW is headed by Michael Kempner, a prominent New Jersey Democrat who has been a top fund-raiser for both Clinton and President Obama.

Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, is a top ­political adviser and longtime confidante of Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state.

Kempner is listed as one of Clinton’s “Hillblazers’’ — having raised more than $100,000 for her campaign since April.

Kempner also was one of the top bundler’s for Clinton’s 2008 bid for the White House, and has hosted Obama at his Cresskill, NJ, home.

The company said it was “pleased to welcome” Weiner to its “board of advisers” and he will dispense wisdom about “the workings of Congress and the City of New York.”

“He is a brilliant strategist [with] expertise on many issues,” the company said.

“[He] will be a great asset to our firm.”

Weiner — who used the moniker Carlos Danger in some of the infamous sexts that led to his fall from grace — does have experience with media crises, just not in handling them well.

He became a nationwide laughingstock in 2011 when he was forced to step down from Congress after lying about sending out an embarrassing image of his penis.

Weiner sent the photo of his manhood in boxer briefs to a 21-year-old female college student in Seattle. After he was caught, he stonewalled for a while, but when additional photos surfaced, he resigned. He then ran for mayor in 2013, claiming he had cleaned up his act.

But his mayoral campaign imploded after he got caught in a second sexting scandal.

He sent pictures of his private parts to then-22-year-old Sydney Leathers, using the Danger name. His campaign staffers were blindsided by the sordid revelations, which destroyed what some saw as a ­decent chance for redemption.

MWW issued a clarifying statement Thursday morning insisting that Weiner will work on policy, not crisis communications with clients.
Read more here.


Ann Voskamp writes at A Holy Experience,
So… it didn’t work out.

You know — That Thing.

In the dark, in the middle of the night, it gets very clear:
He who is hurried by worry, delays the comfort of God.

Pain begs us to believe that only action can end our ache — when actually only God can.

Action doesn’t end pain — God does.

And the making of one’s whole life takes time. Goals take longer than you think; the ways of God take longer than you want. It takes time, a lifetime, to turn the ache of our longings toward Him.

We can simply want our situation solved — when God simply wants to be our answer.

And the best situation — is always what makes God your best hope.

In the middle of things seemingly not working out for us —- God is working out something in us.

Do not ever fear, ever. Simply do not ever stop patiently wait on God.

The Spirit is married to patience.

Be impatient — and you drive a wedge between you and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

In a world of fists and demands and tight grips for control — patiently waiting with open hand is a radical act — a radical art.

Open hands defy the dark — and testify to a radical act of trust.

Grace beyond our imaginings can fall into open hands.

New things will happen to us — unknown, unwanted, unexpected things — and we can name those things grace.

All sins and brokenness — turn out to be watered by impatience.
Read more here.

Summer morning

Ann Voskamp writes at A Holy Experience,
When the sun slides down windows, beckoning us to come out now, you have time now to come out and be — it’s like hope and grace begin again with every summer day.

And these fleeting summer days unwrap like melting ice cream sandwiches, like gladiolas unfolding unabashedly glad in the garden, like monarchs unfolding out of pearled cocoons in His own perfect time.

Try, but really, are there fresher words than those two: summer morning? Summer mornings and the air thick with the spices of a thousand opening flowers and would it matter if we were one of the winged ones that lived only a handful of summer days, because we could fill those handful of open-handed days with more glory than a cynical seventy years might ever contain?

You unwrap the gifts you’ve always wanted most — when tight hands unfold into open-handed trust.

Ann's friend, photographer Esther Havens, writes,
We can choose to enjoy these moments God has given us to the fullest or let them pass us by.

This summer, I really tried to focus on thankfulness.

Thankfulness for every person’s life I get to be a part of!

We all get to be a part of the stories that are interwoven around us.

Today as I’m reflecting and writing this from Rwanda, tears fill my eyes with thankfulness.

God is good —

and His beauty surrounds us.
Read more here.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Inauguration Day, 2017

Before retiring tonight, I was in the mood for some satirical humor. Manhattan Infidel did not disappoint. He writes about his interview with Scott Walker, the Monster who does not have a college degree, but who was giving his inaugural address as President of the United States. An excerpt:
The group then unfurled a banner that read “America: Run by professionals forever. Those without degrees never!”

Our allies wanted us to make a powerful statement. A statement that said how attached we, as professionals are, to our positions as the rulers of America. We thought of perhaps bombing the inauguration. But as college educated men and women we decided to do what we do best: Write a strongly worded protest. And that’s what we have done What have you got to say for yourself Walker? Why didn’t you graduate college?

President Walker then took the microphone and uttered his rebuttal.

“I had a job.”

With that the College graduates for social justice and college degrees ceded the podium but not before complaining that President Walker could have at least given them a trigger warning before telling them that he was employed as a capitalist.

“Not only is he not a professional but he’s one of them!’ could be heard as the group left the stage.
Read more here.

The new star at Fox News

Ramin Setoodeh and Brian Steinberg write in Variety about the ever-confident Megyn Kelly of Fox News here.

Silence is how you kill the story

Mark Steyn writes that Planned Parenthood's
ministrations fall disproportionately on minority women, so in that sense it is still true to the racist and eugenicist theories of its founder, Margaret Sanger: among blacks in New York City, there are more abortions than births - a grim ratio one otherwise has to go to Russia and its satellites to find.

Will the recently released undercover videos change the perception of what Planned Parenthood does? In USA Today, Kirsten Powers (a rare pro-life Democrat) notes that PP head honcho Cecile Richards has apparently apologized for "the uncompassionate tone her senior director of medical research, Deborah Nucatola, used to explain the process by which she harvests aborted body parts to be provided for medical research". "Dr" Nucatola's "tone" is certainly arresting. As she explains to a potential organ client over lunch:

You're just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I'm not gonna crush that part, I'm gonna basically crush below, I'm gonna crush above, and I'm gonna see if I can get it all intact.

That's the easy part. But these days a lot of customers are interested in harvesting an intact brain to work on, so you gotta keep your graspers away from crushing the head - or, as "Dr" Nucatola prefers to call it, the "calvarium":

With the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it's not vertex, because when it's vertex presentation, you never have enough dilation at the beginning of the case, unless you have real, huge amount of dilation to deliver an intact calvarium. So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there's dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.

The chit-chat's all nice and medical, isn't it? If it's "vertex presentation" - ie, the baby comes out head-first - it's hard to get a nice clean intact skull. But, if it's "breech" - feet-first - then "you can evacuate an intact calvarium".

If it is, as Ms Richards says, merely a "tone" problem, it's a revealing one. It's not possible to "crush" as many nine-month-old "fetuses" as "Dr" Nucatola does and still retain your humanity. If would be an unbearable burden to regard the "fetus" as a baby and the "calvarium" as a head and the "evacuation" as a birth, and still go to work in the morning. So the de-humanization is part of what's necessary to survive as an abortionist.

In her USA Today column, Kirsten Powers adds:

It's a measure of how damning the video is that Planned Parenthood's usual defenders were nowhere to be found. There was total silence from The New York Times editorial board and their 10 (out of 11) pro-abortion rights columnists. Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi — both recipients of Planned Parenthood's highest honor, the Margaret Sanger Award — have been mum.

The silence is not from shame, or from having to defend the indefensible, but part of a much colder calculation: Silence is how you kill the story, for Planned Parenthood as for Gosnell.

And that's part of the dehumanization, too. When kids are slaughtered in a Connecticut schoolhouse or churchgoers are shot down in Charleston, the media jump straight on the public policy implications: gun control, Confederate flags at state buildings... But when baby parts are sold by an organization that receives half-a-billion in taxpayer funds, there are no public policy questions at all, and it is necessary to look away. Because the realities of abortion have to be crushed and smothered by the slick, blurry evasions of "a woman's right to choose". That's a dehumanization strategy, too. When the pro-choice rally ends and Cameron Diaz, Ashley Judd and other celebrities d'un certain age return to Hollywood, and the upper-middle-class women with the one designer baby go back to their suburbs, poor and minority and under-age women are left in the abortion-industrial complex's pro-choice back alley
Read more here.

Which is more disturbing?

Mark Steyn asks,
And what's more "disrespectful"? A Trump crack? Or Obama having to be kicked and dragged to lower the flags on the White House and other federal buildings? So that what took a few hours after the Aurora movie shooting and the Connecticut school shooting takes five days, because four dead marines and a dead sailor doesn't fit his "narrative"

Trump is Trump, and mouthing off and shooting from the hip is part of who he is. Obama's chilly, calculated, bloodless indifference to victims of Islamic supremacism is part of who he is. Which, honestly, is more disturbing?
read more here.

Is this wishful thinking?

Dick Morris writes,
To the average American, the crimes of murder and rape are the most serious but to the intelligence community, it is misuse of classified materials and information. The very existence of the Intel operation demands secrecy and they do not look kindly on violations.

...As with all of Hillary’s scandals, this wound is self-inflicted. Had she not insisted on using her own server and e mail account, it would never have happened.

And, like all of her scandals, it will drag on for months or even years. It will take a long time to go through 30,000 emails and make judgments about their classification status. And a new batch of emails are going to be released by the State Department at the end of each month between now and the end of the year.

...But the underlying facts are potentially criminal and there is only a limited number of times that a secretary of state can plead ignorance about the classification status of a document.

The reason this scandal, above others, really threatens Hillary are the necks that have already been on the chopping block for this particular offense. Former CIA Director John Deutsch, General David Petraeus, and former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger have all been involved in such offenses and were punished accordingly. Deutsch was pardoned by President Clinton.

But the Intel boys take this offense seriously and are not going to look the other way. Not this time.
Read more here.

"Rent the space, pay the taxes, and that's it!"

Here are some excerpts from a fascinating article by Michael Totten in City Journal:
Vietnam officially junked Communism a mere 11 years after imposing it on South Vietnam.

State subsidies were abolished. Private businesses were allowed to operate again. Businessmen, investors, and employees could keep their profits and wages. Farmers could sell their produce on the open market and keep the proceeds instead of giving them up to the state. The results were spectacular. It took some time for a middle class to emerge, but from 1993 to 2004, the percentage of Vietnamese living in poverty dropped from 60 percent to 20 percent. Before Doi Moi, the command economy contracted, and inflation topped out at over 700 percent; it would eventually shrink to single digits. After years of chronic rice shortages, Vietnam became the world’s second-largest exporter of rice, after Thailand. Progress hasn’t slowed. In 2013, Vietnam’s economy grew by 8.25 percent. “The number of malls, shopping districts, and restaurants is amazing compared with when I was a kid,” says motivational speaker Hoan Do. “Eighteen years ago, the entire country was broken down. There was hardly any technology, but now even poor people can go to an Internet café and log on to Facebook and YouTube.”

The city is extremely business-friendly. I asked a local man who works for an American company how hard it is for foreigners to invest and go into business in Hanoi. “The Vietnamese government makes it easy,” he says. “Just present them with a business plan, tell them what you want to do, and you’re good to go.” The same goes for small businesses. All you have to do, he says, “is rent the space, pay the taxes, and that’s it.”

...I could only imagine how a Cuban would feel if he found himself whisked here from Havana with a ration card in his pocket and his state-imposed maximum wage of 20 dollars a month in his wallet. The only “mall” I saw anywhere in Cuba was a dismal space, located inside a concrete box that looked like a parking garage and offering only the most meager selection of wares. I’ve been to better malls in Iraq.

Despite having terrible relations with China, Hanoi is explicitly following Beijing’s economic and political model. The trade-off is simple: the state will yield on economic freedom as long as citizens don’t demand political freedom. Princeton professor and China expert Perry Link describes the bargain as, “shut up and I’ll let you get rich.” So far, it’s working in both countries. Perhaps none of this should be surprising. “Vietnam was never all that ideologically Communist,” former U.S. ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson says. “It was always more socialist and nationalist. I told them they should stop calling themselves the Communist Party, but I didn’t get anywhere with it. Everybody pays for everything over there, including health care. The government hardly provides anything. Sweden is more socialist than Vietnam.”

I asked one Hanoi resident what the word “Communism” means today in Vietnam. “Communism today just means we’re run by one political party,” he said. “Some people complain about that, but it doesn’t matter to me as long as the government creates a good business and living environment, and it does. I don’t want different political parties competing with each other and creating a crisis like in Thailand.” He may not mind one-party rule, but plenty of Vietnamese do. The government has created the conditions for the kind of middle-class revolt that erupted in Taiwan and South Korea before those countries matured into multiparty democracies.

Vietnam is enjoying a holiday from history, basking in the prosperous and relatively “free” post-totalitarian phase of its evolution. Amid all the economic and cultural dynamism, the state is a weirdly distant anachronism, its billboards and slogans as out of place as World War II posters would be in America now. Over a ubiquitous public-address system, the party still blares “news” into the streets and into everyone’s home each morning and evening, but the Vietnamese I talked with dismissed it as “just propaganda.” Not just the ideology but the state itself feels almost irrelevant to anyone who isn’t an outspoken dissident. Controlling Vietnam’s people and imposing order on its freewheeling chaos is an exercise in futility. No-honking signs and traffic regulations are routinely flouted, as are parking restrictions. I saw two police officers pull up in a car across the street from my hotel and yell at people through a bullhorn to move their motorbikes off the sidewalk. They complied, but less than five minutes after the policemen drove off, the space filled up again.

...Vietnamese anti-Americanism scarcely exists. What we call the Vietnam War, and what they call the American War, casts no shadow—especially not in the South, which fought on the American side, but not even in Hanoi, a city heavily bombed by the United States. I saw no evidence that the U.S. (or anyone else) ever bombed Hanoi. All the damage has apparently been repaired, and most Vietnamese are under the age of 30—too young to remember it, anyway.

Perhaps it’s not so remarkable that the Vietnamese have moved on. Most Americans don’t hold grudges for long, either, after the furies of war have subsided. Hardly any of us hate the Japanese, the Germans, or the Vietnamese. We rightly despise the Taliban and Isis, but not the innocent people of Afghanistan or Iraq. So the Vietnamese aren’t unique for being emotionally mature about history—but they do contrast with some, especially in the Middle East, who can’t get past even the most ancient of grievances. George Santayana famously said that those who can’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it, to which P. J. O’Rourke added, with the Arab-Israeli conflict in mind, that “it goes double for those who can’t remember anything else.”

Today, both the Vietnamese people and government—in the north as well as the south—view Americans as allies. The leaders are Communists who voluntarily embarked on a journey of economic dynamism and friendship with the United States, first abandoning and then reversing everything they once fought and died for. They’re prospering as a result. May the same one day happen in Havana and Pyongyang.
Read more here.